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How to Motivate Seller to Find Leads

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”  12th century proverb

No matter how good you are at working REAL ESTATE SELLER LEADS, if you are dealing with a homeowner who is not a MOTIVATED SELLER, you’ll be wasting a lot of time and energy.

Of course, as we’ll touch upon later in this post, there is something to be said for nurturing your contact base so when they’re motivated, you’ll be the first agent they call.

But for the purpose of this blog post, we’re going to focus on how to identify and engage with MOTIVATED SELLER LEADS. We will look at this challenge from two perspectives:

  1. HOW TO FIND MOTIVATED SELLER LEADS FOR FREE, whether you’re a real estate agent, or you’re trying to find MOTIVATED SELLERS LEADS FOR WHOLESALERS.
  2. How to use an industry-leading lead generation and CRM platform like Vulcan7 to do the work for you.

But first, let’s look at how to identify and find motivated sellers.


Finding Motivated Sellers

It’s not easy to find homeowners who are motivated to sell immediately, especially if you want to build your prospect list FREE. Agents need to learn how and where to dig for information. But let’s first consider the factors that lead to homeowners being motivated to sell:

  • Change in life situations, such as divorce, death in the family, a growing family or loss of job. Any of these can be the spark that motivates someone to sell a home… quickly.
  • Relocation, whether it’s to a retirement decision or change in job.
  • Home price, meaning, if you see that someone is selling their home well below the market value, you can guess that they might be motivated.
  • If someone is behind on their mortgage payments, they may want to sell quickly to get out from under the debt and avoid foreclosure.
  • Sometimes a homeowner will stick with their property even after life circumstances suggest that it’s time to sell. In many of these cases, the homeowner gives up on the property and it can fall into serious (and obvious) dis-repair.

There may be others, but these are the most common reasons for homeowners to become motivated to sell their property.


As we said previously, it takes hard work to build a MOTIVATED SELLER LIST. If you’re willing to do the work, here are a few ways to build a MOTIVATED SELLER LIST FREE:

  • Drive neighborhoods: by driving your local neighborhoods, you’ll be able to identify distressed properties in which a motivated homeowner might be residing.
  • Network with local attorneys: homeowners or real estate investors often retain attorneys to help handle a sale, especially if a dramatic life change is a precipitating factor (i.e. divorce, bankruptcy).
  • Contact inspectors: whether at the county or city level, inspectors are often aware of properties that are in need of repair, and possibly owned by someone who needs to move the property quickly.
  • Direct mail campaigns: you may want to develop a direct mail campaign by building a list comprised of any combination of the following:
    • Recent foreclosure
    • Property owner is of old age
    • Out-of-state or absentee owner
    • Death of a joint tenant

These are but a few ways to build a MOTIVATED SELLERS LIST FREE.


Many real estate agents and/or entrepreneurial investors become real estate wholesalers as a prelude to staring a real estate investing business.

If you’re unfamiliar with wholesale real estate, it is when an individual acts as a wholesaler between a property owner and buyer. The wholesaler acquires the contract from the seller of the property and can assign the same contract to a buyer. This is not an outright purchase by the wholesaler. Instead, the wholesaler has a temporary contact that allows them to sell the property on the owner’s behalf.

Typically, wholesalers work with distressed properties for which the owner does not want to invest time or money to prepare the property for a traditional sale.

The end-buyer in these wholesale transactions is usually a rehabber or real estate investor.

Many individuals prefer wholesaling because they can earn profits in a shorter period of time. Plus, they can also get into the wholesaling business with limited cash or credit.

Finding Motivated Sellers


As we outlined in the section above, real estate agents need to put time and energy into finding motivated homeowners. By the same token, an individual investor must put in the same level of energy to find MOTIVATED SELLER LEADS FOR WHOLESALERS.

Tactics such as direct mail campaigns and checking sources like Craigslist are two approaches that have worked well for wholesalers when building a prospect list.

One final thing before we close this section. Find Motivated Sellers Now is an online software that allows agents or wholesalers to search for vacant properties in their area. Some have questioned whether or not the site and the data it sells is legit. To that end, you should take time to review FIND MOTIVATED SELLERS NOW REVIEWS.

Finding Motivated Sellers



In the previous section we reviewed how real estate agents and wholesalers can find motivated sellers for free. Now, we are going to shift gears to review how top performing agents use Vulcan7’s industry-leading data to find MOTIVATED HOME SELLER LEADS.


When we consider degrees of seller motivation, clearly, homeowners with a recently expired listing sit at the highest end of the motivation scale. Vulcan7 has been long-recognized as the industry leader in providing the best expired leads each morning, 365 days a year.

But if you haven’t worked with expireds before, we thought it might help to give you a primer.

First, when it comes to expired listings, always remember:

  • You can assume they are motivated because they’ve already made the decision to sell their home.
  • 40% list within one month.
  • Nearly 4 in 10 will list with a new agent.

Whether you’ve been in the business for years or are relatively new, you are probably aware that expired listing properties are a significant revenue opportunity. And, if you’re a Vulcan 7 client, you get the best expired leads, and the most highly-regarded CRM and dialer in the industry.

Here are a few of the fundamentals when it comes to working with expired listing homeowners:

  • When it comes to calling expireds, focus on those critical, initial seconds to position yourself:
    • Let the homeowner know how you would do things differently (“While your home was on the market, here’s how I helped X homeowners sell their property”).
    • Remind them about what motivated them to sell in the first place (i.e. the importance of their next move).
  • Don’t lose touch with the unique opportunity of old expired listings. Many agents pass these listings up for newer properties. Remember:
    • Don’t consider these as cold calls because you know they have a home to sell, and do not have a listing agent.
  • Call early and be persistent in your follow-up with expireds. Prove that you are dedicated to selling their property-they will appreciate that dedication.
  • Expireds also appreciate it when you show them you remember their property.
  • Remember that time and price are the things they are most concerned about.
    • Have your stats at the ready: examples of your quick sales, especially those made above the listing price.
  • Be persistent about getting an in-person listing presentation-avoid having to make a listing presentation over the phone, or even via Zoom, if at all possible.
  • Show the homeowner how you would be a partner and problem solver. Have examples of how you went above and beyond for other clients.
  • You may run into situations where the homeowner previously listed with a friend, and is possibly inclined to re-list for the same reason. You might discover that the homeowner previously listed with a friend. Perhaps you can turn this to your favor: “I appreciate great friendships, but do you think you gave your friend the best chance to sell your home?”
  • Be straightforward if the client asks if you’re willing to negotiate commission: “It depends on many factors, such as the condition of your home and the price we set. We can discuss that in more detail when we meet tomorrow.”
  • Firmly and politely fight through the objections until you secure the listing presentation.

Expireds are likely frustrated that they could not sell during their previous listing. Which means, if you can help them achieve their goal, you are likely to get glowing references from that homeowner down the road. And who doesn’t want a glowing reference in this super-competitive industry?


The second category of motivated homeowners are sellers who decide to go it alone, or For Sale by Owner (FSBO).

Finding Motivated Sellers

Importantly, FSBOs are motivated to sell, but at first won’t be motivated enough to pay a commission to an agent. This is especially true if their home is in a high demand neighborhood, in a strong seller’s market. But even in the most ideal circumstance, FSBOs typically come around to asking for professional help after going it alone for a month or so.

As such, it’s important to recognize that FSBO prospects require a bit more TLC than the average homeowner. With that in mind, here are a few tips to consider when prospecting your Vulcan7 FSBO leads:

  1. Stay in touch: Do your best to keep your name top of mind because FSBOs often get frustrated quickly when trying to go it alone. By staying in touch on a regular basis, you stand a better chance of being their go-to agent once they’ve had enough of going solo.
  2. Validate to build trust. Affirm your FSBO prospect’s decision to so solo: “Great idea to sell on your I think you’ll have a lot of success. And if you need any help, let me know.” FSBOs need to discover, on their own, that they need a professional. By being patient and positive, you put yourself in an excellent position to get the listing when that decision is finally made.
  3. Guide FSBOs with solid questions. Open-ended questions help to uncover the homeowner’s motivation. For example, if the FSBO says “I’m selling on my own to save money,” you might respond with: “That makes total sense, but let me ask, what does saving money look like to you?”
  4. Ease up on the hard sell. Yes, persistence is important. But, an overly-aggressive approach might suggest to the homeowner that you think they made the wrong decision by selling on their own.
  5. Build rapport by building value. You want to build rapport and trust early on. By supporting a FSBO’s efforts to sell in the short-term, they’re more likely to remember when they’re ready for a pro. Offer to help with paperwork. Give them advice on creating curb appeal. Show them you want to help.
  6. Let them do most of the talking. Your instinct might be to do as much “selling” as possible in your initial contact. Instead, ask open-ended questions. A great rule-of-thumb is to allow your FSBO prospect to do about 70% of the talking in that first conversation.

As we mentioned above, it takes FSBOs about a month to appreciate how time-consuming it is to sell their own home. With a patient, value-added approach, you can set yourself up to be the “go-to agent” when the prospect finally throws up their hands and says: “It’ll be worth it to pay a commission!”


Expireds and FSBOs represent the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to looking for motivated (and soon to be motivated) prospects. But Vulcan7 offers other lead databases that, when nurtured, set you up for success when a homeowner’s motivation to sell kicks into gear.

  • Pre-foreclosure leads: as we mentioned in the first section above, homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments might be in danger of having the lender foreclose on their property. These homeowners may be open to selling to stay out of foreclosure.
  • Circle prospecting: Vulcan7 gives you the tools to connect with homeowners in the vicinity of your “just listed” or “just sold” properties.
  • For rent by owner (FRBO): Vulcan7 identifies real estate investors who can, in the long run, become significant sources of repeat business.

Remember, regardless of economic conditions or your own market dynamics, there will ALWAYS be motivated sellers for the reasons we outlined at the beginning of this post. Any real estate agent who puts in the time and/or uses best-in-class lead generation software like Vulcan7, will position themselves to take the lion’s share of listing from those motivated homeowners.

If you are looking for MOTIVATED SELLERS, there’s no better resource that Vulcan7. Check out our entire compliment of industry-best REAL ESTATE LEADS, starting with our expireds and FSBOs HERE.

Doug Spak has over four decades of experience as an advertising copywriter, agency creative director, blogger, and content creator. He joined Vulcan7 as a Content Specialist in 2016. In addition to ongoing website copy refreshes, Doug has produced over 300 blog posts while developing content for Vulcan7’s social media platforms.

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